Nolan Harkness: How a Youth Minister Became a Revivalist

I have roots in the Wesleyan Methodist movement, roots which go back several generations in ministry. I watched people live, suffer patiently and die, leaning strong on their faith, comforted by the Word of God

I suppose there were a lot of prayers, which went up silently that I knew nothing about, but audible prayer in our house was mostly confined to saying grace at dinnertime.

I was 23 when I first visited a church where somebody really prayed out in what I know now to be the anointing power of the Holy Spirit. The person prayed loudly! They prayed with authority! They prayed long and they prayed specifically, as if they were standing in front of God Himself. I definitely had a WOW moment! Something about that experience made me long for more of God in my life than I had ever had. For the next few years I continued to attend that church and I began to ask God to fill me every day with more of His power. I began to see a huge difference in so many areas of my spiritual life. As I have testified in another article, I was coming out of a very worldly life experience. I had left my childhood faith for a season, and took a long journey into a sinful life. The Lord’s “new wine” was proving to be ten times better than anything the world had to offer. Spending time with Jesus and being led by His Holy Spirit became my daily delight!

I soon discovered the hardest thing about having wonderful new experiences in God, totally by His grace, was hanging around people who have not had those experiences. The thing I discovered is you would think everyone would be eager to find out just how you discovered this treasure of a deeper experience in God. The fact is they’re not. Many of them will flat out tell you so. Others will often check their watch, roll their eyes and stare at the ceiling to make sure you get the picture. The third group excitedly says “Amen” with a big smile, and says “Praise God Brother, I am so happy for you!” However if you ask them to come to a Bible study or revival services you are holding, somehow they are always too busy!

God wasted no time plugging me into helping with my first youth group. At that time the only thing I knew about ministering to youth was that I used to be one! Actually, I now think that it was a blessing in disguise. My ignorance drove me to pray, spend time in the Word and to study other youth ministries in my area, which were being successful.

The spiritual aspects of ministry came a bit slowly, but as God led, in spite of some foolish mistakes on my part, over time my ministry began to prosper. What I didn’t know at the time is how big the walls were which I would have to try to get past to manage the more practical aspects of youth work.

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Source: Christian Post